New Allegations Include Female Kicker

In still another detrimental blow to a program and university already reeling from scandal and accusation, a female placekicker said this week that she was raped by a University of Colorado football player during the 1999-00 season and didn't tell anyone because she was afraid of the "media mess" it would cause.

Katie Hnida makes the accusation in the upcoming edition of Sports Illustrated. Hnida issued a statement Tuesday through the University of New Mexico, where she is currently enrolled as well as being on the school's active football roster, in which she states she is "healing' from "horrors endured" at Colorado. She didn't mention specifics about the rape in the statement, and she has said that she did not plan to press charges.

Colorado president Betsy Hoffman urged Hnida to report the alleged assault to police. In a statement released early Tuesday, Hoffman said, "We strongly encourage Ms. Hnida to contact police officials to investigate her sexual assault allegation which warrants criminal investigation."

The senior left Colorado after the 1999 season, later enrolling at New Mexico. Last August, she said she was a target of sexual harassment when she was at Colorado but did not mention rape.

While at Colorado, Hnida said she was raped by a teammate while at a friend's house watching TV.

"Next thing I know he's on top of me," Hnida says in the Feb. 23 issue of S.I. "I told him, ‘No!' But he just kept going, ‘Shhhh.' I tried to push him off of me but he outweighed me by 100 pounds."

Hnida said she got out from underneath her teammate when the phone rang and he reached for it. Hnida did not identify the player. She did not go to the police because she was "so scared of what he might do to me."

In further reference to the "horrors endured" included in the S.I. interview, Hnida says that players exposed themselves to her "at least five times." She also said that other players would sometimes rub against her when the team was huddled, and that one player fired footballs at her head and called her vulgar names as she practiced.

Hnida says she has been in contact with the Boulder Police, but has decided not to file any charges at this time.

Hnida did not try out for the Buffaloes in 2000 after head coach Gary Barnett said he told her she would have to beat out other kickers for the job. Last fall, Hnida said she didn't return for several reasons, including "an incident during that summer."

Hnida would go on to become the first woman to compete in a Division I-A football game when she made an extra point for New Mexico in the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl.

"I have not had a single problem with any of my teammates at New Mexico," Hnida said in the statement. "I have not received any special treatment, nor did I request any."

Katie Hnida's official statement

Issued via New Mexico University athletic department Tuesday.

The recent allegations into the football program at the University of Colorado have caused me to come forward with details of my own experiences at CU. They occurred several years ago while I was enrolled at the school and was a member of the football team.

To this day, I am dealing with the repercussions suffered from my short time at CU. I will have to deal with it for the rest of my life.

Making this information public was not an easy decision. It has been extremely difficult for me, my family and those closest to me, but it has also helped me. I did this because I hope no one else will have to deal with the horrors I've endured over the past few years.

I want to emphasize that a large number of my Colorado teammates during the fall of 1999 were good people. However, there were a select few whose actions towards me changed my life forever.

Being at the University of New Mexico the past 18 months and getting on the field again has really been a blessing. More than anything else, it has helped in my healing process. I have been able to play a game I love so much and also be part of a team that is like a family.

I have not had a single problem with any of my teammates at UNM. I have not received any special treatment, nor did I request any. That's a credit to the type of program that Coach (Rocky) Long is running at New Mexico.

Currently, my primary goals are to complete my education at the University of New Mexico and, hopefully, obtain a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. Since I'm not officially on the team anymore, I'm training on my own while awaiting word from the NCAA regarding the appeal I submitted last Friday (Feb. 13).

I was not at the University of Colorado in the fall of 2001, so I cannot comment about the current allegations being made. However, I felt that my information is pertinent to the investigation being conducted. I have been in contact with Boulder (Colo.) County law enforcement authorities, but I do not expect to file any charges at this time.

I will not have any additional comments on this matter at this time.

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